There are several companies now selling natural insect repellents, many of which use essential oils as their active ingredients.Dear EarthTalk: I can’t seem to find any natural bug repellents that really work so I end up using the harsh, chemical varieties. Are there any really effective bug repellants that aren’t chemically based, or other strategies we can use to keep bugs at bay? — Melissa Armantine, New Paltz, NYWhile the industry standard insect repellents rely on the insecticide DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) to keep bugs at bay, many environmental and public health advocates worry that regular long-term exposure to even small amounts of the chemical can negatively affect the human nervous system.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that, in studies, DEET has been shown to be “of low acute toxicity,” although it can irritate the eyes, mouth and skin. The EPA concluded after a comprehensive 1998 assessment that DEET does not present a health risk as long as consumers follow label directions and take proper precautions. And since nothing works quite as well as DEET in deterring disease-carrying ticks and mosquitoes, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is relatively bullish on its use in order to reduce incidences of Lyme disease, encephalitis and other insect-borne diseases.Regardless, many consumers would prefer natural alternatives, and there are several companies already selling DEET-free insect repellents, many of which use essential oils as their active ingredients. WebMD reports that soy-based repellent formulas (such as Bite Blocker for Kids) are the most effective substitutes for DEET, usually lasting for 90 minutes, which is longer than some low-concentration DEET formulas. Some other leading alternative repellents include All Terrain’s Herbal Armor, Quantum Health’s Buzz Away Extreme, Lakon Herbals Bygone Bugz, and California Baby’s Natural Bug Blend Repellent.WebMD adds that, despite popular opinion, products containing citronella are not the best non-chemical choice, as their effectiveness typically wanes within an hour. Likewise, peppermint oil and some other plant-based oils are also effective as insect repellents. Even venerable Avon Skin-So-Soft bath oil, long thought to deter pests as well as DEET, only keeps mosquitoes away for up to a half hour.Beyond repellents, there are many other ways to keep pests away. For one, avoid floral fragrances from perfume, deodorant or other sources that can attract mosquitoes and other bugs. The EarthEasy website recommends eliminating standing water around your home to keep mosquito breeding at bay. Bird baths, wading pools and pet water bowls should be changed at least twice a week; also make sure your gutters are draining properly. Also, since mosquitoes are attracted by carbon dioxide released from campfires and barbeque grills, EarthEasy recommends throwing sage or rosemary on the coals to repel the mosquitoes.If all else fails and DEET is your only option, use it sparingly. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using repellents with no more than a 30 percent concentration of DEET for kids over two-months old (and no repellent for younger babies). Keep in mind that formulas with lower concentrations of DEET may work just as well as others but not for as long. A 10 percent DEET concentration, for instance, should work for up to two hours outside. Applying DEET-based bug spray to your clothing instead of skin can help minimize any negative effects of exposure. Also, kids and grown-ups alike should wash off any DEET-based repellents when they are “out of the woods” so to speak.CONTACTS: EPA DEET Fact Sheet, www.epa.gov/opp00001/factsheets/chemicals/deet.htm; CDC Insect Repellent Use & Safety, www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/insect_repellent.htm; EarthEasy, www.eartheasy.com; American Academy of Pediatrics, www.aap.org; WebMD, www.webmd.com.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
A WASTED EFFORT?There is little evidence that such monitoring works, and these practices raise plenty of questions about privacy and discrimination.Nikolas Cruz, the suspected perpetrator of the Parkland shooting, hardly presents a case for schools to proactively check social media.If anything, it shows that people already alert law enforcement when they see genuinely threatening material online.Cruz was reported to the FBI and local police at least three times for disturbing posts; one call to the FBI warned that he might become a school shooter, while a separate call flagged a YouTube post saying that the user wanted to become a “professional school shooter” (although the poster wasn’t identified as Cruz until after the shooting).And Cruz’s explicit declaration of intent is the exception, not the rule, which means monitoring the Internet wouldn’t usually turn up such warnings.Our informal survey of major school shootings since the 2012 Sandy Hook killings in Newtown, Connecticut, shows that only one other perpetrator’s social media accounts indicated an interest in school violence: Adam Lanza.Lanza, the Newtown shooter, posted in discussion forums about the Columbine high school shooting and operated Tumblr accounts named after school shooters. These postings were not a secret, and while viewers at the time may not have known whether to take the threats seriously, it is hard to imagine in the current climate that his posts would not be reported to the authorities — as they should be.Generally, school shooters’ online profiles — which wind up being extensively analyzed in the wake of attacks — reveal little that sets them apart from other teenagers.An algorithm trawling the Web for people who like violent video games or firearms would be swamped with far more hits than any law enforcement agency or school administrator could conceivably review.The same would be true of any program that looked for words like “gun,” “bomb” or “shoot,” as the Jacksonville, Florida, police department discovered the hard way when its social media monitoring tool — while producing zero evidence of criminal activity — flagged comments about crab burgers, pizza or beer being described as “bomb,” or excellent. (It also caught two uses of the phrase “photo bomb.”)DISCRIMINATION EVIDENTSocial media monitoring tools can also result in discrimination against minority students.A recent ACLU report showed that the Boston Police Department’s social media monitoring efforts contributed nothing to public safety while searching for terms like “Ferguson” and “#blacklivesmatter,” as well as terms likely to be used by Muslim users, like “#muslimlivesmatter” and “ummah,” the Arabic word for community.There is also substantial evidence to suggest that children of color, especially those who are Muslim, would be treated as dangerous and perhaps subject to extra monitoring, despite the fact that the majority of school shooters have been white. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe Parkland, Florida, school shooting has reignited the national conversation on what can be done to prevent such tragedies, which seem to occur with frightening regularity.One option, which already is used by many schools and probably will be adopted by more, is to employ companies that monitor students’ social media feeds to flag threats of violence, as well as behavior such as bullying and self-harm.Miami-Dade County’s school system has asked for $30 million in upgrades that include “advanced monitoring of social media,” while schools in California, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia have indicated that social media monitoring, including by third-party companies, is a key security feature.But schools should think long and hard before they go down this path. Children of color appear likely to be treated more harshly in general, even when their white peers break the same rules.KIDS MAY GET SNEAKIERAs many Americans cheer the Parkland shooting survivors for their political activism, it is important to recognize the chilling effect of ongoing surveillance.Given that 92 percent of American teens go online daily and 24 percent are online almost constantly, monitoring programs can operate like listening devices that record every utterance and pass it on to school administrators.Yes, this scrutiny may on occasion reveal risky behavior that requires intervention.But far more often, it will also squelch young people’s ability to express themselves — and probably drive conversations to communications channels that cannot be easily monitored.POLICIES NEEDEDThis is not to say that schools should never look at students’ Facebook posts.But they should generally do so only when there is a reason — for example, when a student or parent has flagged concerning behavior or when the school is investigating online harassment or bullying. Every school must have in place policies available to parents, teachers and students specifying when it will look at social media postings.Such policies should be narrowly tailored to avoid impinging on the privacy and free speech rights of students, and they should limit the sharing of data with third parties and include procedures for deleting information when a child graduates or leaves the school, as well as safeguards to ensure that children of color are not unfairly targeted.In the wake of yet another school shooting, Americans are understandably looking for ways to keep students safe.We should focus our attention on measures that have been proved to work, such as sensible gun controls and ensuring that parents and peers know whom to contact to report threats and to receive help, rather than expensive tools that are unlikely to make us secure but carry substantial costs for the very children we are trying to protect.Faiza Patel is co-director of the liberty and national security program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.Rachel Levinson-Waldman is senior counsel in the liberty and national security program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?
Economy, Free The Six-Pack, Liquor Reform, Results, Statement Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf released the following statement regarding legislation approving the sale of six-packs at beer distributors:“I have worked hard with Republicans and Democrats in the General Assembly to modernize the sale of liquor, wine, and beer in Pennsylvania in order to bring the commonwealth’s wine and spirits system into the 21st century.“I applaud Republicans and Democrats in both chambers for approving the sale of six-packs of beer at distributors throughout the commonwealth, and I look forward to signing the legislation into law.“Following my administration’s successful efforts to free the six-pack at gas stations across the commonwealth and my work with Republicans and Democrats in the legislature to pass historic liquor reform, this legislation enhances the customer experience by providing greater convenience and satisfaction to the residents of Pennsylvania.”Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf October 27, 2016 Governor Wolf Statement on Legislation Approving the Sale of Six-packs at Beer Distributors SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
An order signed by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson stated: “After a careful perusal of the allegations and evidence available and presented, this office concludes that a prima facie case for Gross Neglect of Duty exists against you (respondent).” BY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL BAÑAGA The memo also ordered Salado and Jalandoni to refrain from entering the premises of the Provincial Capitol, Provincial Budget Office and any of its offices during the duration of his suspension or from doing such acts that will influence the witnesses and the proceeding. The complaints against the department heads, according to Diaz, reached the internal audit of the province and the Commission on Audit that’s why they have to be addressed. The provincial administrator pointed out the same cause was the basis for a show cause order against Mina Pellejo, head of the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program. BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz denied politics or personal motives were behind the suspension of Provincial Budget officer Jose Percival Salado Jr. and Recreation and Mambukal Resort Welfare Services Officer V Ellen Marie Jalandoni. Diaz said the two department heads have two options – submit a position paper or face a hearing. Diaz also clarified there was no formal complaint filed against Dr. Cristina Orbecido, head of the Negros Occidental Language and Information Technology Center, and Karen Dinsay, head of the Scholarship Program. Diaz furthered that with the suspension of Salado and Jalandoni, he was now considering appointing an officer-in-charge in their departments but refused to give names “The administrative charges warrant a preventive suspension in view of the fact that the respondent exercises authority over the herein witnesses and the Provincial Budget Office where evidence, testimonial or documentary are available. It is therefore imperative that the witnesses, other testimonial and documentary evidence, as well as the proceedings itself, be protected from whatever form of influence from the respondent to give due course to a fair and impartial investigation and hearing,” he added. “They will need a lawyer and we will appoint a prosecutor from the Provincial Legal Office during the hearing to be presided by a hearing officer or a panel,” Diaz added. Diaz said the charges against the two department heads have to do with money matters. Earlier on Monday, Salado and Jalandoni were placed on a 60-day suspension. The show cause order was sent to the three but it was put on hold because of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. “The case has something to with alleged overspending,” Diaz said. Salado’s suspension stemmed from an alleged failure, as budget officer, to study and evaluate the budgetary implications and non-submission of comments, recommendations and objections the proposal and discussion of legislations enacted and promulgated by the Provincial Board in the creation of new positions by the Province of Negros Occidental in its annual budget for fiscal years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. This thereby increased the excess in the PS cap allowance from P106,134,890.46 in 2015 to P595,224,524.03 in 2019 and leading to the disallowance of the said amount in 2019 and prohibition on Province of Negros Occidental to provide for additional PS items until such time that the PS cap is observed./PN
Anthony Joshua has offered to help Tyson Fury lose weight ahead of his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko.Fury, the WBA Super and WBO world heavyweight champion, tweeted out his need to lose a “whopping 3st 3lbs” ahead of his July 9 fight and has offered to help Twitter followers lose weight with him. Joshua has joined in the conversation, suggesting his British rival get in touch for some advice of his own.“I told him I’ve got the training tips when he’s ready,” Joshua told Sky Sports News HQ.“He’s three stone overweight – I could shed that in a month, don’t worry about that. Just reach out Tyson, I’m here!”It is not the first Twitter tussle between the heavyweight stars, after Fury labelled Joshua “a weightlifter who is fighting for a paper title” days before the Olympic gold medallist was crowned IBF world champion.Joshua hit back, calling Fury “fat boy” and again made it clear he would like to fight him – and his cousin Hughie – soon, especially if the rivalry continues.“I see the demand that people want to see me fight Tyson Fury at some stage, but I’ll do it one Fury at a time,” he said.“But we’ll get the ball rolling, so whether he wins or loses and the demand is still there, I’d love to fight Tyson Fury some time.”Joshua has also revealed he will have two more fights this year,starting off with his first world title defence at The O2 on June 25.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram